I have a small confession:
I'd never actually canned anything before, but this recipe looked perfect for our surplus of watermelon. I had to give it a try!
The process was much easier than I expected.
(Except for scraping the lids out of the boiling water. Cohesive properties were not on my side)
All the spices smelled so good!
I'm trying to hold off eating them until at least September, but its a struggle.
"Fever" The Black Keys
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh
6 cups cold water
1/3 cup pickling salt
6 cups peeled watermelon rind (white and light pink part only), cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 cups ice cubes
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
4 cinnamon sticks (3 inches long)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
In a large bowl, whisk together the cold water and pickling salt. Place the watermelon rind in another large nonreactive bowl, and pour the salt-water mixture over it. Add the ice cubes, transfer to the refrigerator, and let sit for at least 6 hours or over-night.
Drain the watermelon rind and rinse it thoroughly under cold water. Transfer it to a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until fork-tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the drained watermelon rind and cook for about 1 hour, or until the rind is almost completely translucent.
Divide the watermelon rind between two sterilized pint canning jars, and add enough pickling liquid to cover the rind by at least 1/4 inch. Add a cinnamon stick to each jar. There should be at least 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean with a damp paper towel and attach the lids and rings. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the hot water bath and let them cool. The jars should seal as they cool. Any jar that does not seal properly should be refrigerated and the pickles consumed within two weeks.
The pickles will keep, stored in a cool dark place, for up to 1 year.